Mandibular tori surgery is a rather uncommon oral surgery procedure, consisting of the removal of excess jaw bone in the mouth.  Most of the time tori do not interfere with daily eating, drinking or speaking, but when they do, this surgery has proven to greatly improve the quality of life for patients with the condition.  As with most oral surgery, the cost in the US may be prohibitively high, whereas a qualified and experience dentist in Costa Rica can often help more affordably.

The term mandibular tori is the plural form of mandibular torus. In simple terms, a mandibular torus is a bone that grows inside the mouth, typically between the lower premolars and the tongue.   If it occurs on the palate, it’s known as torus palatinus, and if on the cheek side of upper molars, is known as buccal exostoses.  In most cases, the bone grows in both sides of the mouth, which is why most dentists refer to the issue in plural as mandibular tori.

There are several factors that are thought to cause the growth of mandibular tori:

  • Genetic disposition
  • Bruxism, i.e., teeth grinding or clenching, perhaps due to stress
  • Vitamin deficiencies and calcium-rich supplements
  • Trauma or injuries to the face and jaw

The growth of mandibular tori is very slow and may stop spontaneously.  Fortunately, in most cases, mandibular tori is not a problem and doesn’t need any treatment. However, some patients may need to have their mandibular tori removed. This typically happens when the mandibular tori is an obstacle for performing dental procedures, such as dental implants, braces, or dentures. However, surgical removal of mandibular tori might also be used in cases of chronic pain or a bad bite.

Tori removal surgery isn’t complicated, although recovery can be slow. The dentist will typically use a local anesthetic and then reduce or remove the mandibular tori with special instruments. After the tori have been removed, the dentist will suture the area. Patients should expect to need at least one week for their initial recovery, at which point they need to go back for a post-treatment evaluation. Total recovery will take three to four weeks, although a patient will be able to perform most of his usual activities during the recovery period.

As with any type of dental surgery, patients will need to talk with their dentists before the procedure in order to thoroughly understand it, prepare for it, and make their recovery as smooth and fast as possible. Your dentist will probably ask you to get some X-rays and other tests. You may need to change your diet or review any medication that you might be taking. If you smoke, you will need to stop smoking for a fixed period of time before the surgery, as smoking greatly increases the chance of infection, slows healing, decreases the body’s ability to regenerate new tissue, and can jeopardize the results.

If you are interested in mandibular tori removal in Costa Rica, fill out the “Find a Dentist” form on this page.  One of our patient advocates will reply to your needs.